Our guest today is Terri L. Austin, the debut author of Diners, Dives and Dead Ends, A Rose Strickland Mystery. To learn more about Terri and her books, visit her website. -- AP
I love a good hero. Or in the case of my new mystery, Diners Dives and Dead Ends, a good heroine. Rose is brave in the face of adversity. She’s loyal and kind. All good fictional hero/heroines should be brave, likeable, but flawed and human at the same time.
But I have to admit, I love a good villain just as much. A good villain lets our heroine shine. Gives her something to work against, makes her sharper, stronger. Brings her game up a notch.
Not the mustache-twirling villain or the obvious psycho. Where’s the fun in that? I want a villain dressed up like a kind, elderly neighbor. Who’s secretly blackmailing her fellow choir member. Or the businessman who drives his kids to soccer practice. But has another, secret family one town over.
But what’s better than a good villain? A sexy one. A villain who’s so bad, he’s good. And looks good when he’s doing wrong. One who rides the edge between being lost to the dark side or being almost redeemable. And that’s the kind of villain I like to write about. Is he all evil? Or is there just enough good left to make him turn from his wicked ways? And that’s what makes the sexy villain so intriguing. Even when he’s doing something morally wrong, we can’t help ourselves. We’re attracted to his bad boy persona, we want him to be redeemable, to change his ways. And we admire the heroine that makes it happen. Will he give up his illegal ways for her? Or is she only fooling herself by thinking there’s something decent in him?
So what do you think? What makes a great villain? And do you like a sexy bad guy as much as I do?
Thanks for joining us today, Terri. Well, readers? How do you like your villains served up? -- AP